Politics & Policies

US / The Job Gap and the Skills Gap

We’d be serving the present and the future. Here’s one example how: Today states are slashing budgets for community colleges, just when every good job requires more skill. That is truly cutting off our thumbs to lose weight. Last week, I interviewed Gary Green, the president of Forsyth Technical Community College, in Winston-Salem, N.C., with 10,000 students.

“We have a labor surplus in this country and a labor shortage at the same time,” Green explained to me. Workers in North Carolina, particularly in textiles and furniture, who lost jobs either to outsourcing or the recession in 2008, often “do not have the skills required to get a new job today” in the biotech, health care and manufacturing centers that are opening in the state.

If before, he added, “you just needed a high school shop class or a short postsecondary certificate to work in a factory, now you need an associate degree in machining,” a two-year program that requires higher math, I.T. and systems skills. In addition, some employers are now demanding that you not only have an associate degree but that nationally recognized skill certifications be incorporated into the curriculum to show that you have mastered the skills they want, like computer-integrated machining.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor

 NYT

via How to Put America Back Together Again – NYTimes.com.

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